Lake Crystal Area Recreation Center expansion

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Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:32 PM CST
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LAKE CRYSTAL, Minn. (KEYC) - The recreation center will include indoor playground equipment for children, and exercise equipment for adults both contribute to the Lake Crystal Area Recreation Center’s upcoming expansion.

“This is something that we’ve talked about for a few years, something that’s been on our on our wish list, something that we saw a need for, but the timing is right for us to to move forward with this project now,” said Ryan Yunkers, executive director of Lake Crystal Area Recreation Center.

“We want it to be a space that’s inclusive for everybody. And to be able to provide a space for the kids, toddlers and parents exercise will be great,” explained Marcie Larson, family programs manager.

“So, adults can exercise while their children are are playing on the playground equipment, and also a rentable party room meeting room inside,” said Yunkers.

The indoor, farm-themed playground will help both children and parents get their energy out, especially during winter.

“Last week when it was 20 degrees below zero, there were probably zero children out playing on these playgrounds and even some of the really hot summer days, and Mankato, and this area it’s just not great for kids to be outside,” said Yunkers.

“So, I think just having a place for kids to go to be physically active is going to be very beneficial for them and their families to come be active together,” said Larson.

The expansion will add another layer of positive physical health that Yunkers says, is intertwined with the community.

“You can come here, you know on a Monday morning at 9 o’clock and the parking lot is filled with cars, and you think, ‘Well where would all these people be if the rec center wasn’t here?’” said Yunkers.

The Lake Crystal Area Recreation Center is currently in the fundraising stage, working with major donors, sponsors, and grantors right now and are actively seeking sponsors and partners for the project. The initial estimate is about $1.5 million.

If fundraising goes exceptionally well, a fall 2023 start date for construction is possible; however, a more conservative timeline is summer of 2023 for a shovel in the ground start.

Following the model of New Ulm and our current practice, people would NOT need to be members to use the playground, and could just pay a daily admission. The price is yet to be determined.